3 Steps for Building Positive Habits
1 Start small
A tiny habit is easier to stick to.
Do you resolve to exercise more often this year? Start with just 10 pushups a day or a short jog around the neighborhood — something so quick that there’s no excuse not to do it. Once a habit begins to feel natural, increase the amount of time or effort you spend.
2 Fit new habits together with existing habits
Choose a habit that’s already second nature, then schedule your new habit immediately after. Think about your own days: what existing habits can be extended or transformed?
If you’ve resolved to read more, place a book next to your cup of morning coffee. If you intend to brush up on a new language, stick vocabulary cards into your gym bag and take advantage of that post-workout jolt of energy. Existing habits can be a seamless gateway to new activities.
3 Practice makes perfect
You’ll probably need a few nudges before your resolution truly becomes second nature. Create checkpoints to help you stay on track: enlist a friend to keep you honest, set alarms throughout the day, or mark your successes on a calendar.
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